So you've made your way out of the dorms, maybe even out of college, and have finally found the freedom and responsibility of living in your own house. If your house is anything like mine was, you need some help to get organized and (at least fairly) clean. You will not, I repeat, will not get a girlfriend with that pigsty you're living in. Want to live in a house that doesn't scare away the not-so scary girls? Read on.
Ok, pizza boxes are not considered a decorative piece (despite the dirty drawings you sketched last night). You're going to need to give your kitchen a good cleaning, from trash to beer bottles to whatever the is growing on the corner, get rid of it! Clean out the fridge too, you keep food there, not science projects. Also, there's nothing that screams, "I'm a lazy bum!" worse than broken or leaking appliances. Does the refrigerator sound like the furnace in Home Alone? Call your landlord before the damage becomes your responsibility. If it's an easy fix, but if repair happens to fall on your shoulders, there are loads of sites out there which provide advice and parts.
This is usually the worst offender for first timers. Please, get your hair out of the sink and shower. It's gross and a major turnoff. Replace the shower curtain that has a rapidly evolving race of tiny organisms, too. Also, make sure to have some air freshener in there (what did you eat!?). Always have soap for washing hands on tap (bar soap is not acceptable) and have clean towels to dry them off, not the same towel you just dried off with...you bum.
The Living Room
You have pizza boxes in here too!? Go ahead and clean the living room while you're at it. Get some heavy duty carpet cleaner (you're gonna need it) and get to work. All those beer stains won't clean themselves. And try to make your living room an appealing place for the opposite sex. It's ok if you got your couch off the street, just make sure it doesn't smell bad and consider finding a nice couch cover that will add an aesthetic appeal (and prevent further stains in the future). Get rid of those posters, too. You're an adult now, it's time to step it up to some actual artwork.
You've worked so hard, don't ruin it with a sloppy bedroom. Have one place where dirty laundry is kept (the floor doesn't count), preferably out of sight. Make sure your bed sheets are clean, comfortable, and classy. Remove all of your empty coffee cups/beer cans/etc. from your desk. Think about getting some cool artwork to hang up (Van Gogh is nice) and have a few interesting parts of your personality on display (guitars, books, etc.) to cue up some interesting conversations. Pictures of family and friends add a nice touch, too.
The responsibility of maintaining a home is a major marker of adulthood. Besides, snagging a love interest (which having a clean home never hurts,) damage which can be repaired easily could end up costing big bucks come move-out day. Landlords often withhold large sums of deposit cash for small issues based on the stereotype that students are lazy, disinterested, and dirty. Don't live up to that stereotype, and do keep damages under your control.
Having your own house is a pretty sweet deal, but in the words of Uncle Ben, "With great power, comes great responsibility". So try to keep it clean, will ya? Besides, what's the point in having your own place if no one wants to come over? Follow the steps listed and you’ll well on your way to having an awesome house that is welcoming to your future guests.
This article was written by Paul Lynch, a freelance writer and recent UNCG grad who always gets his rental deposit back via simple repair options and keeping his home in good condition.